(UPDATED COVERAGE, Sept. 30) Fresh Express is launching six new salad kits and backing the move with a package redesign and national TV advertising.

UPDATED: Fresh Express introduces new salads, redesigns packaging

Courtesy Fresh Express

Fresh Express, a division of Cincinnati-based Chiquita Brands International Inc., has introduced six new salad kits and redesigned its packaging.

“Consumer awareness of the kits category is relatively low,” said Andrew Ciafardini, a spokesman for Fresh Express, a division of Cincinnati-based Chiquita Brands International. “The package redesign focuses on the word ‘kit.’ It puts the emphasis on the combination and the meal, not just a standalone salad, that’s being prepared.”

Consumers can win an iPad by playing The Salad Spinner game on the company’s website, pairing different ingredients to come up with new salad ideas.

Ads are running now on broadcast and cable TV, as well as on radio.

The new kits announced Sept. 27 are:

  • House Ranch
  • House Italian
  • Chicken Caesar
  • Chicken Taco
  • Strawberry Fields
  • Pear Gorgonzola

All but the Pear Gorgonzola are available now. Both that and Strawberry Fields are part of a limited-time seasonal rotation. Other kits will be available year-round.

Pear Gorgonzola is slated to hit shelves in January. One limited-time salad kit will be released about every four months, the company said, each replacing the prior.

“We have many kits flavor profiles in research and development in varying stages,” said Ciafardini, who declined to describe them. Fresh Express said it plans to unveil two more limited-time-only kits in 2011.

The company said it’s working with several vendors to provide the kits’ complementary ingredients — items not widely thought of as typical salad ingredients, such as fruits.

Besides enlarging the work ‘kit’ and aiming for easier-to-read text, the package redesign also features instantly redeemable on-pack coupons on select kits.